Addis Ababa - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

We dress formally at the embassy. Ethiopians are pretty conservative in some ways, so you don't want too much exposed skin (and it's frankly too chilly for that anyway). - Dec 2023

Fairly traditional and somewhat conservatives dress. Given the altitude, long sleeves feel comfortable here. - Aug 2023

Most people dress conservatively. - Aug 2023

Business casual / Business smart - Aug 2022

Ethiopia isn’t a very formal place. People are modest but not overly conservative. Older people tend to dress more conservatively. In the countryside, people are very conservative and wear long skirts. Most Ethiopians wear the same outfit for 3-4 days, so I do too! - Jul 2022

Shorts and t-shirt for me on the weekends. Long-sleeve collared shirt and slacks at the Embassy. - Feb 2021

Business wear. Formal dress may be worn 1-2 times per year, for example at the Marine Ball and Irish Ball. - Aug 2020

Business/ business casual. - Mar 2020

Conservative, but casual. This is a highly religious country. Dress at work is business/business casual. Formal dress for diplomatic events or balls. There are several big events each year to dress up for, so at least one ball gown would be appropriate. You can have something made locally. Keep in mind this county isn't hot, so be prepared to have sweaters/pashminas to keep you warm when dressed up. - Feb 2020

In public places, it's casual. Women here often wear jeans or long skirts/dresses. - Feb 2019

Business/business casual at work. Formal at formal events. - Aug 2018

Same as U.S. Some wear formal dress at balls like Irish Ball, Marine Ball, Christmas balls, and such. - Jul 2018

Ethiopians like to dress nicely but casual clothing is accepted. - Jan 2018

Business or business casual depending on your job and your boss. Casual Fridays. You can break out your tuxedo and ball gown for the Marine Ball and maybe one or two other events, but you're also fine in a suit or cocktail dress. - Sep 2017

what you would expect for an embassy: business attire, then business casual on Fridays (half day). I brought several gowns for Marine Balls and other formal events. It rains a lot so bring boots. - Aug 2016

On rare occasions, formal dress (Marine Ball? Burn's Night?). Standard office attire. Casual Fridays. - Aug 2016

Conservative--no short skirts or revealing tops. Dress code at work is generally consistent with US business casual. - Feb 2016

Pretty formal. - May 2014

Pants in public (you'll get weird looks in shorts). Wearing your sweatsuit or pajamas out in public is discouraged as it is anywhere outside of the U.S. Button down shirt at work or a suit if that's the culture of your office. The locals dress very nice and always look sharp, either in suits or traditional wear. - Jan 2014

Work: business (suits, etc.). Public: casual (jeans and t-shirts for the most part; depends on personal preference). - Nov 2013

Business casual. - Jun 2012

In my world, surprisingly formal. Suit and tie is quite normal. - Aug 2010

Business casual is the norm, and dress is conservative at work. The cool weather (at least at nights and in the rainy season) is a factor too. Out on the town, anything goes. - Jun 2010

At the Embassy, it's professional. Suits Monday-Thursday and business casual on Fridays. - Mar 2008

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